ANOKA, Minn. -- New state legislation is providing $26 million to Minnesota counties to add child protection workers.
Anoka County is set to receive $1.2 million dollars to add 11 new full-time staff members. The county is in the process of hiring nine new social workers, a case aide specialist and a social services supervisor, in what county staff is calling a much needed move.
A state task force was put together to improve services for children in need of protection and it recommended the new funding.
Anoka County Children and Family Services Manager Suzanne Tuttle said with about 3,000 cases reported each year, the most common cases the county sees are various forms of neglect. She said the additional staff will help lighten caseloads, allowing its 46 workers to spend more time on each case.
"We haven't had new workers for quite some time and we want to do good work with families and you do the best work by having time to spend with the families and we also have federal mandates we have to meet so it's been tough. It's been tough to do the quality work that we want to, so with these 11 new positions, we're really excited,” Tuttle said.
She said the new legislation also has new requirements that will increase workloads for child protection workers, meaning the new funding still might not be enough for staff to reach their goals.
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